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Live: Thousands join Welsh independence march in Cardiff

01 Oct 2022 14 minute read
Picture by All Under One Banner Cymru

As many as 10,000 people joined a march organised by All Under One Banner Cymru and YesCymru for Welsh independence in the centre of Cardiff.

It was the first march since 2019 in the Welsh capital, which saw the first march for independence on May of that year.

Saturday’s march started at midday in Windsor Place and travelled in a 1.5 mile loop along Queen Street, St John Street, Working Street, The Hayes, Mill Lane, St Mary’s Street, High St, and Duke Street before returning to the starting point.

The line-up of speakers included actor Julian Lewis Jones who plays Boremund Baratheon in hit HBO series and Game Of Thrones prequel House Of The Dragon.

Other speakers included former Plaid Cymru leader Dafydd Wigley, actress and novelist Ffion Dafis, singer Eädyth Crawford and Irish comedian Tadhg Hickey.

3.25pm

Some good shots of the march by YesCymru.

Picture by YesCymru
Picture by YesCymru

3.15pm

The march came to an end with the crowd singing the Welsh national anthem Hen Wlad fy Nhadau.

There are a few other fringe events planned for later on, such as this one featuring Cardiff University economist Calvin Jones and Western Mail journalist Will Haywood.

3.13pm

Actor Julian Lewis Jones was among those who spoke earlier.

Taking to the stage, Lewis Jones called the UK Government “the worst show on in the West End at the moment”.

He said: “We were the first colony of England and in some ways we are the last colony of England. But enough is enough.

“It’s time we stand up as a nation on our own two feet.

“We are big enough. We are strong enough. And we will fight for this.

“Let this day light a fire in all our bellies,” he ended to applause.

3.10pm

Another video of the march as it snaked its way up St Mary Street.

3.05pm

A few vox pops by PA from among the crowd of marchers…

Student Mirain Owen, 17, travelled to the march from Swansea with her father and said she believes support for independence is growing among young people.

“I’m here to support independence as a young person that wants to see a better future for Wales,” she said.

“I don’t think that the current situation is working for Wales and I think we definitely need to see some change as recent events in Westminster have shown us so clearly.

“I think young people are more supportive of independence than ever before because everything that is happening is affecting our lives, we can’t do nothing.”

Sion Roberts, 30, from Felinheli, North Wales, said the independence march is “not anti-English but anti-Westminster”.

“Ultimately, I feel like with Westminster making decisions we’re not getting the fairness that we deserve,” Mr Roberts said.

“There’s a reason why Wales is one of the poorest countries in Europe, despite the UK being one of the richest countries in the world, and it’s just not right. I think we can do better.

“We fully appreciate that this isn’t risk free. But we’d like the opportunity to be able to blame things going wrong on our own Parliament.

“We need to celebrate the differences you know.

“English has its own beautiful culture, we have ours, Scotland has theirs, Northern Ireland has theirs.

“We need to celebrate that rather than trying to unify something that’s ultimately different.”

Gethin Owen, 36, from Rhuthun, North Wales, said: “I think a lot of people say they don’t know what to think but when you talk to them they actually support the independence movement.

“But a lot of them only have access to English media and therefore they only see the negatives.

“Independence is a scary prospect and I think you need to be confident in your own nation to believe in it and confidence is something Wales has lacked for decades, maybe centuries.

“Peaceful marches like this are important for the indy-curious to see and learn what all this is about, and slowly then the tables will turn.”

2.50pm

YesCymru say that 10,000 people took part in the march today.

A Cardiff Council worker said they believed the figure was more modest, around half that.

Speaking at the march, Dafydd Wigley said: “It is now our duty to spell out in detail what we mean by independence – to show how it can rescue Wales from hairbrained policies emanating from a mad-dog government, Independence can work for everyone in Wales. We need independence and we need it now!”

Gwern Gwynfil of YesCymru said: “YesCymru is here to lead our national conversation. The break-up of the Union is inevitable. There will be an united Ireland, Scotland will be independent and the only secure future for Wales is as an independent nation.

“We are economically viable and Westminster has repeatedly failed us for decades. This won’t change so we must take full responsibility for our own future and stand tall as a nation on the global stage.”

Llywelyn ap Gwilym from AUOBCymru said: “Wales needs an alternative to Westminster. Independence will not automatically solve things, but it is the most likely route to a fairer and more caring society for everyone here.”

2.42pm

There was a very poignant moment as Eddie Butler’s Merthyr Tydfil speech was played for the crowd, following his unexpected death last month.

You can watch it again here:

2.26pm

A few pictures from the rally by Lleucu Meinir. Including Dewi Pws!

The weather has picked up nicely in the end, after fears it would be bucketing it down.

AUOB Cymru rally. Picture by Lluniau Lleucu.
AUOB Cymru rally. Picture by Lluniau Lleucu.
AUOB Cymru rally. Picture by Lluniau Lleucu.

2.24pm

Here is a picture by Gethin Matthews of part of the Green Party contingent on the Welsh independence march. The Green Party in Wales have officially backed independence.

Picture by Gethin Matthews

2.21pm

AUOB Cymru who organised the march have posted a picture of the crowd listening to the speakers at the rally.

2.15pm

The new Chief Executive of YesCymru, Gwern Gwynfil, is among the speakers. You can read a longer interview with him here.

2.05pm

New pictures from the front of the march featuring a few familiar faces.

Plaid Senedd member Leanne Wood takes part in a march calling for Welsh independence in the centre of Cardiff, Wales. Picture by: Bronwen Weatherby / PA Wire
Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price takes part in a march calling for Welsh independence in the centre of Cardiff, Wales. Picture by Bronwen Weatherby / PA
People take part in a march calling for Welsh independence in the centre of Cardiff, Wales. Picture by Bronwen Weatherby / PA

2.00pm

Irish comedian Tadgh Hickey has been speaking to the assembled crowd of thousands.

1.50pm

A few of today’s marchers gathering for the rally where a number of politicians, singers and actors will be speaking…

Cardiff march for Independence Gwydion Jones 01/10/22 image by Tracy Jones
Cardiff march for Independence 01/10/22 image by Tracy Jones
Cardiff march for Independence 01/10/22 image by Mark Mansfield

1.45pm

We noted earlier that there’s a Scottish independence march going ahead in Edinburgh the same time. There’s also a huge United Ireland event going on in Dublin.

The massive event titled ‘Together We Can’ is taking place at the 3Arena in Dublin.

1.42pm

People are gathering back on Windsor Place to hear the speeches and entertainment now.

Cardiff march for Independence 01/10/22 image by Mark Mansfield
Cardiff march for Independence 01/10/22 image by Mark Mansfield

1.32pm

The march has reached its destination, back where it started. Meanwhile, we don’t yet have any definite numbers for the march yet beyond ‘huge’ and ‘lots’.

1.30pm

Stop the UK merry-go-round, Wales wants to get off?

Cardiff march for Independence 01/10/22 image by Mark Mansfield
Cardiff march for Independence 01/10/22 image by Tracy Jones

1.22pm

The march has now passed the castle and is heading back across Queen Street.

Cardiff march for Independence 01/10/22 image by Mark Mansfield

1.20pm

Drummers on High Street.

1.12pm

More pictures as the march moves up High St towards Cardiff Castle. A few weeks ago these streets were lined with people greeting (and protesting against) the new King Charles III.

Cardiff march for Independence 01/10/22 image by Mark Mansfield
Cardiff march for Independence 01/10/22 image by Tracy Jones

1.10pm

As the Welsh independence march makes it way back to its starting point for the speakers and music, there is also an independence march ongoing in Scotland’s capital city at this very moment…

1.07pm

Julian Lewis Jones of House of Dragon and Invictus fame is among those will speak at the end of the march.

1.05pm

The march is now making its way back up St Mary’s street where it will double back across Queen Street and to Windsor Place.

Here we have Eileen from Pobol y Cwm, and someone else who clearly doesn’t appreciate our coverage.

Cardiff march for Independence 01/10/22 image by Mark Mansfield
Cardiff march for Independence 01/10/22 image by Mark Mansfield

1.00pm

As expected the Welsh independence march also has a lot of people protesting against the current cost-of-living crisis…

Cardiff march for Independence 01/10/22 image by Mark Mansfield
Cardiff march for Independence 01/10/22 image by Mark Mansfield
Cardiff march for Independence 01/10/22 image by Mark Mansfield

12.55pm

There are quite a few Twitter users on the march posting their thoughts and pictures as they go…

12.50pm

Can you spot yourself? Here is some of the marchers going past in Cardiff.

12.43pm

Prominent pro-independence voice, Wrexham Councillor Carrie Harper, has recorded a short video from the march putting the case for independence.

12.40pm

Marchers are filing past Aneurin Bevan at the far end of Queen Street and down Working Street to the Hayes.

Cardiff march for Independence 01/10/22 image by Mark Mansfield
Cardiff march for Independence 01/10/22 image by Mark Mansfield
Cardiff march for Independence 01/10/22 image by Mark Mansfield

12.38pm

The route is quite similar to that travelled in 2019 when the marchers made their way down from Cardiff City Hall before stopping at the Hayes for the speeches. This time however they’re looping back and to Windsor Place.

Here’s a picture from 2019 – the weather was a bit better then!

Picture by Ifan Morgan Jones / Llinos Dafydd. (CC BY 2.0)

12.33pm

Here are a few more pictures of the march making its way down Queen Street, and a few onlookers perhaps wondering where the sudden tide of red, white and green has come from. There will be volunteers from AUOB Cymru clicking people through to get a better sense of how many have attended.

Cardiff march for Independence 01/10/22 image by Mark Mansfield
Cardiff march for Independence 01/10/22 image by Mark Mansfield

12.30pm

Here is some footage of the front of the march making its way down Queen Street.

After the march completes the mile and a half long route there will be a gathering at Windsor Place to hear the main speakers.

12.26pm

It’s hard to get a sense of the size of the crowd here at the moment, but it goes quite a long way back across Queen Street and then down towards the Hayes.

Here is the route of the march in its entirety.

The Cardiff independence march route

There was some disagreement about the size of the march in Wrexham in June, with everything from about 5,000 to the more generous 8,000 suggested.

The organisers today will probably want to beat the previous march in Cardiff in 2019 at which around 6,000 were present, although the weather today is quite a bit worse.

12.22pm

The march is now on the move down the streets of Cardiff…

Cardiff march for Independence 01/10/22 image by Mark Mansfield
Cardiff march for Independence 01/10/22 image by Mark Mansfield
Cardiff march for Independence 01/10/22 image by Mark Mansfield
Cardiff march for Independence 01/10/22 image by Mark Mansfield
Cardiff march for Independence 01/10/22 image by Mark Mansfield

12.21pm

A samba group had been busy entertaining the large crowds before the march started off.

12.20pm

Thousands of people have been travelling down to Cardiff on YesCymru buses from other parts of Wales. This is thee Aberystwyth-Llandysul bus…

@lleucu_plethu @yescymru @indycymru Cofio Eddie Butler yng Nghaerdydd heddi #annibyniaethcymru #yescymru #indepence ♬ original sound – Wian😎


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Frank
Frank
1 month ago

Ymlaen Cymru.

DAI Ponty
DAI Ponty
1 month ago

Remove the English Yoke from around our necks

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
1 month ago

There are many thousands here in Cardiff. It should be added there is a train strike on the day, so many more people could not travel to Cardiff on the day and were working on Friday. Add to that many couldn’t afford to travel there because of high fuel/heating costs. I estimate that for every person actually attending there is possibly 50 people that support and would have turned up if they could get to Cardiff. You could say it is a fair slice of Welsh public opinion (even a majority). The budget has shown that the UK government are… Read more »

David Charles pearn
David Charles pearn
1 month ago

Ernie I was there, fantastic turn out but as you said there would definitely been even more had circumstances been a little different, but still estimates of 10,000 plus fantastic the dragon is definitely stiring.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

Fantastic to see thousands from all four corners of Wales march through our capital in support of Welsh independence. And where they march with passion & purpose, the Unionist anti-Welsh Conservatives stomp their jackboots all over our hope, dreams & aspirations as a nation to please their English Whitehall masters in London.

#Annibyniaeth 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 ✊ #YesCymru 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿✊

Bradford born Bradford bred
Bradford born Bradford bred
1 month ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Hang on a minute I am here today to support Welsh Nationalism as an Englishman I have not come from Wales. I want a free England.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
1 month ago

Thank you for your support.

We are anti-Westminster, not anti-England.

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
1 month ago

Gwirioneddol dda iawn 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago

A brilliant march in Cardiff today – thousands there – the atmosphere great! It’s been pretty much ignored by the London press but that will not stop us. Our time is here !

Joy Edwards
Joy Edwards
1 month ago

I couldn’t go because of the train strike! 🙁
But I will attend the next one.

David Smith
David Smith
1 month ago

Watch the British media and the 77th Brigade stooges be all over this to downplay it. I’ve a question to any ‘brigadiers’ reading: does it rankle to know your predecessors fought Hitler, or died in the trenches, but all you amount to are professional internet trolls? Losers!

The original mark
The original mark
1 month ago
Reply to  David Smith

They’ve been very active on Facebook most of the day, they’re so easy to wind up🤣 I couldn’t do the march as the wife is on bed rest, after a visit to the hospital, so I made do winding the trolls up, looks like a fantastic turn out👍

Roberto
Roberto
1 month ago

Another well organised and well attended march with great speakers and performances. Shame about the strike coinciding but fair enough. The people of Wales must quickly see that there is no alternative to independence if we are to thrive. We have the resources and talents so let’s believe in ourselves all get behind annibyniaeth and make it happen asap. Cymru am byth!

Bachgen o Lerpwl
Bachgen o Lerpwl
1 month ago

Brought up in the mighty Welsh city of Lerpwl with more Welsh speakers than all the cities of Wales combined. Wales was alive in Liverpool in the 50’s and 60’s. I wish Wales every success with independence because we need the DVLA jobs and the tax centre jobs and the Royal Mint for the Red Wall areas of England. Good luck and all the best.

Alan Jones
Alan Jones
1 month ago

Whatever the actual numbers there in Caerdydd on Saturday it’s important to note that if this event had happened say 15 to 20 years ago & beyond, the numbers there would have amounted to around maybe 50 to 100 dedicated people & then completely ignored as cranks or even cottage burners for God’s sake. The brilliant turnout on Saturday shows how many many more people are starting to realise there could & should be another way of governing Cymru & that’s through independence. As one speaker said, ” this is not the cause of the mythical taffia or the crachach,… Read more »

DAI Ponty
DAI Ponty
1 month ago

Hello 77 Brigade how are you doing i seen this mentioned on the mentioned on our site wondering what it was and googled it British Government sneaky beakies monitering the population anything or anyone who is against the establishment although they deny it so you can bet they are watching the comments on here no different than Russia if you go on Wales on line and there is a story about Welsh independence there are more comments about not having it soldiers sitting in an office SOMEWHERE IN ENGLAND TYPING THE ANTI WELSH INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENT COMMENTS i often wondered it… Read more »

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
1 month ago

Well, I hope YES will get some advice from ex Young Socialists of the seventies on the Optics of how to turn out a march; You get pretty girls out front (add samba band if you like) all with our flags, after which smartly dressed people shouting slogans. The optics of this one showed lack of discipline. People are still impressed by smartness. Turnout, though, was impressive when taking into account the strikes and dire economic situation. Eight out of ten.

Last edited 1 month ago by I.Humphrys
Windy
Windy
1 month ago

Is it time for The Golden Dragon to roar again

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